Sleepy Time Bolognese

I've been doing too much.  Some times you can just tell you need a quiet night to get away from a lot of chaos.  That was me last night.  All I wanted to do was stock up my empty fridge, cook something, then go to bed at 9pm.  I did feel a little guilty about not going to see L's band play last night, but at the same time, I know myself well enough to know when its too much.  So instead, I grabbed the Bon Appetit I purchased during one of my too frequent trips back and forth to DCA, and got to the cooking.   This recipe is from the May 2011 issue:

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup) I forgot the celery, since I didn't want to buy the whole stalk and let it go bad.  Instead I added more onion)
  • 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 oz. ground beef (85% lean)
  • 6 oz. ground veal
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine - I think I added in 1 cup.  This ended up more liquidy than I would have liked, and this is why
  • 3 cups (about) beef stock or chicken stock, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk  (I used soy, because that's all I had)
  • 1 lb. tagliatelle or fettuccine (preferably fresh egg) - can someone please tell me why it's so damn hard to find fresh pasta?  Seriously.  Luckily I found some hiding on a fancy display at the WF, but really just put it in the pasta aisle.
  • Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
Preparation

  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add beef, veal, and pancetta; sauté, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 15 minutes. Add wine; boil 1 minute, stirring often and scraping up browned bits. Add 2 1/2 cups stock and tomato paste; stir to blend. Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.
  • This is where I decided to take a nap.  Luckily this nap alloweded everything to simmer and get delicious. Also, I had the heat low, so nothing was destroyed when I woke up at 9pm.
  • Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan; gradually add to sauce. Cover sauce with lid slightly ajar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 45 minutes, adding more stock by 1/4-cupfuls to thin if needed. DO AHEAD Ragù can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Transfer ragù to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta and toss to coat. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water by tablespoonfuls if sauce seems dry. Divide pasta among warm plates. Serve with Parmesan.

This reheats for lunch wonderfully.  Seriously.  I just had some.

Note: Don't start this dish at 7:30 and expect to eat it that evening.  Unless you are being all Euro and eating at 10pm.  Which under normal circumstances would have been fine, but I'm a burned out lady this week.